Texas Wildfire Grows To Biggest In State’s History

A wildfire sweeping through the Texas Panhandle surged to become the largest in state history on Thursday, covering nearly 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers) of scorched terrain. As firefighters battled the blaze, a light dusting of snow offered a brief respite.

Dubbed the Smokehouse Creek fire, it ravaged a vast expanse of rural landscape characterized by prairies, scrub brush, and rocky canyons, interspersed with oil rigs.

Despite efforts, the fire remains largely uncontained, with just 3% under control, as reported by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The arrival of snow and a drop in temperatures provided a temporary relief, slowing the fire’s rapid expansion. However, the landscape depicted a grim scene: swathes of blackened earth, smoldering homes, and the remains of cattle stiffened by the cold. In Stinnett, an American flag defiantly stood outside a destroyed residence.

While the Snowhouse Creek fire showed signs of abatement due to the wintry conditions, its threat persisted.

It stands as the largest among several major wildfires raging across the rural Panhandle region, having even encroached into neighboring Oklahoma.